ankh

noun
\ ˈäŋk How to pronounce ankh (audio) \

Definition of ankh

: a cross having a loop for its upper vertical arm and serving especially in ancient Egypt as an emblem of life

Illustration of ankh

Illustration of ankh

Examples of ankh in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This incarnation of Death was not a scythe-wielding Grim Reaper but rather a cute goth girl with a spunky attitude and a pretty ankh symbol. Christian Holub, EW.com, "Neil Gaiman, Michael Sheen, G. Willow Wilson discuss the past and future of The Sandman at DC FanDome," 22 Aug. 2020 The ancient Egyptian symbol for life, the ankh—a cross shape with an oval loop—influenced the development of the cross known as the crux ansata, used extensively in Coptic symbolism. National Geographic, "Ancient Egypt gave rise to one of the world's oldest Christian faiths," 19 Apr. 2019 In ancient Egypt the ankh was the symbol of both eternal life and a sacred metal, copper. Emily Dudding, Harper's BAZAAR, "Copper: The New Skin Saver," 13 Mar. 2014 Badu—an Afrofuturistic artist who uses fictional worlds, technology, and outer space in her videos—was perhaps the most stylistically influential with her larger-than-life head wraps, afro-wigs, face paint, and Egyptian ankh rings. Taylor Hosking, The Atlantic, "How a Black Panther Music Video Taps Into an Old Trend," 1 Mar. 2018 Holding a sparkling ankh, his cortege paused at Osiris's signature tables where he was cascaded with confetti and honorifics. Michael Dumas, AL.com, "Show Us Your Mardi Gras Gowns: LaShe's embark on an 'Underwater Fantasy'," 7 Feb. 2018 While everyone is grabbing the popcorn for the Blac Chyna-Rob Kardashian beef, the real donnybrook was happening Monday on TV One’s News One Now, when host Roland Martin had ankh-right leader Umar Abdullah-Johnson on his morning show. Michael Harriot, The Root, "We Fact-Checked Umar Johnson’s Hotep Tantrum With Roland Martin Because Someone Had To," 11 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ankh.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of ankh

1854, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ankh

Egyptian ʽnḫ live

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about ankh

Statistics for ankh

Cite this Entry

“Ankh.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ankh. Accessed 12 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on ankh

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about ankh

Comments on ankh

What made you want to look up ankh? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!